The NBA Draft is just around the corner, and the Bogut vs. Williams debate continues to rage. This year’s draft class is certainly intriguing, and the number of who-lands-where scenarios are nearly endless. Here’s a sneak preview of how things might turn out on draft day, but as always, there are bound to be surprises…
1. Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Bogut – C, Utah
Almost the guaranteed #1 pick, the big man has lots of skills and is one of the best post passers around. Bogut dominated the NCAA last season despite little help.
2. Atlanta Hawks: Marvin Williams – SF, North Carolina
The Hawks don’t need another 6′9″ SF (they already have three) but Williams is too good to pass up. Great athlete, good shooter, and showed he will be a great team player at UNC. Williams might be the #1 prospect in this draft in terms of overall potential.
3. Charlotte Bobcats (from Portland): Chris Paul – PG, Wake Forest
The Bobcats need a PG and trading up for the consummate PG Chris Paul makes a lot of sense. Paul has amazing court vision and a nice jumper. He epitomizes what playing PG is all about. The only negative is his size.
4. New Orleans Hornets: Deron Williams – PG, Illinois
A big-bodied play maker who was one of the best defenders in the NCAA last season. He has excellent passing skills and a nice jumper that he can knock down when it counts.
5. Portland Trailblazers: Gerald Green – SG/SF, Gulf Shores Academy
Green is an incredible athlete that absolutely oozes potential. He also has a dead-eye jumper. Will most likely be the top HS player drafted. Martell Webster is also a possibility.
6. Utah Jazz: Raymond Felton – PG, North Carolina
The Jazz have been rumored to really like Danny Granger, but PG is the biggest area of need and Felton is a great PG. Incredible quickness and a solid outside shot.
7. Toronto Raptors: Danny Granger – SF, New Mexico
Toronto loves Granger, and Granger loves Toronto. An incredibly versatile SF, who has the ability to play in the post after playing at PF a lot for New Mexico. He also possesses a sweet J. Felton (if he drops) or Antoine Wright are also possibilities for the Raptors.
8. New York Knicks: Channing Frye – C, Arizona
With 6′7″ Malik Rose serving as the Knicks’ current center, there is a definite need for size on their roster. He is athletic for his size and has nice passing skills and a good mid range game. Frye needs to play with more tenacity and bulk up to succeed in the NBA.
9. Golden St. Warriors: Charlie Villanueva – SF/PF, Connecticut
A very versatile and athletic big should fit nicely into Golden State’s up-tempo game. Frye (if he drops), Joey Graham, and possibly Hakim Warrick are all possibilities here.
10. Los Angeles Lakers: Jarret Jack – PG, Georgia Tech
A great floor general with good size who was the lynchpin at GT for the last few years. He has a fairly good jumper and plays with a lot of intensity. Jack fills a big hole at PG for the Lakers.
11. Orlando Magic: Antoine Wright – SG, Texas A&M
Very good shooter with elite level athletic abilities. He will provide good depth at the SG position for the Magic.
12. Los Angeles Clippers: Yaroslav Korolev – SF, CSKA Moscow (Russia)
A talented offensive player who has supposedly received a promise from the Clippers. He will likely be stashed in Europe for a while so he can develop.
13. Charlotte Bobcats: Martell Webster – SG/SF, Seattle Prep
A killer shooter with an NBA-ready body who the Bobcats can play alongside Okafor. He could use a bit more athleticism, but he is adequate in that respect.
14. Minnesota Timberwolves: Joey Graham – SF, Oklahoma St.
Very strong, very athletic player who was excellent for OSU this season. His stock has really risen as a result of workouts.
15. New Jersey Nets: Fran Vasquez – PF, Unicaja (Spain)
An absolute steal at #15 who fits perfectly into the Nets lineup. A gritty NBA-ready PF can come in and make an impact right away.
16. Toronto Raptors: Andrew Bynum – C, St. Joseph’s HS
A massive prospect with some very nice skills is a big risk/reward pick. He could develop into a very good NBA center (a notch or two below Shaq) or could end up a stiff. Bynum would have been a high lottery pick after a year or two at UConn.
17. Indiana Pacers: Francisco Garcia – SG, Louisville
A rail-thin shooter who can fill it up early and often. The Wolves are rumored to be interested in him and he could be a replacement for Sprewell.
18. Boston Celtics: Roko Leni-Ukic – PG, KK Split (Croatia)
A 6′5″ PG with a nice offensive game and good passing skills. He has also supposedly gotten a promise from Boston.
19. Memphis Grizzlies: Sean May – PF, North Carolina
May had a great season and absolutely dominated in the NCAA tournament. He has great hands, excellent post skills, and a sky-high basketball IQ but he is not very athletic and is undersized for a PF.
20. Denver Nuggets: Chris Taft – PF/C, Pittsburgh
Prior to the season he was considered the #1 pick for this years draft. He has great size and is very athletic, but a poor year at Pittsburgh and questions about his attitude have killed his draft stock.
21. Phoenix Suns: Ike Diogu – PF, Arizona St.
An extremely productive player who dominated the Pac-10 for 3 years. He is only 6′8″ which hurt him, but he does have a 7′3″ wingspan.
22. Denver Nuggets: Hakim Warrick – SF/PF, Syracuse
Warrick dominated NCAA competition last year and made lots of highlight reels in the process. He has great athleticism, but is too skinny to play PF and might not be quick enough to play SF.
23. Sacramento Kings: Martynas Andriuskevicius – C, Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)
He has great potential but is a major project. Its hard to ignore his size (7′3″) and the skill set he has right now. He would have benefitted by waiting another year to enter the draft.
24. Houston Rockets: Wayne Simien – PF, Kansas
The Rockets have a major hole at PF and Simien could be a very nice player for them. He is a good post player with nice athleticism and is excellent from the FT line.
25. Seattle Sonics: Rashad McCants – SG, North Carolina
Ray Allen may have played his last game as a Sonic and will need to be replaced if he does bolt for another city. McCants has excellent athleticism and a great jumper and can be a great scorer in the NBA. The only questions about him are his size for a SG (6′3″) and his attitude.
26. Detroit Pistons: Ersan Ilyasova – SF, Ulker Istanbul (Turkey)
Ilyasova has a nicely developed game and good athleticism, also at 6′9″ he has good size for a SF. Detroit has no real holes and could develop him overseas.
27. Utah Jazz: Johan Petro – C, Pau Orthez (France)
Petro has great size and athletic. He has lots of potential but is still very raw and needs experience.
28. San Antonio Spurs: CJ Miles – SG, Skyline HS
Miles is very athletic and has a strong handle. He combines that with a very nice jumpshot and has been compared to Ray Allen. He might have benefitted from a year or two at Texas.
29. Miami Heat: Andray Blatche – PF/C, South Kent Prep
A very long and athletic prospect with a good handle for his size. He is still raw however and sometimes plays down to the level of his competition.
30. New York Knicks: Randolph Morris – C, Kentucky
As I mentioned earlier, the Knicks need size and Morris has it. He has a nice skill set but there are questions about his attitude. He definitely should have gone back to Kentucky.
Ben Kearon is the Cafe’s resident draft expert. When Ben isn’t tracking prospects, you’ll find him posting in the Forum as CC.